The secrets of the Norisring
The Norisring is laid out around the remains of the Zeppelinfeld and to say it’s an atypical circuit is a bit of an understatement! The drivers in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship talk about the key points.
The Norisring is one of the most exceptional circuits in use and is unlike any other. While the 2.3-km layout may look simple, the width of the track, the proximity of the rail and the heavy braking zones make it a huge challenge for the drivers.
“It’s awesome,” is the way that Russian driver Daniil Kvyat (Carlin) describes it after his first outing on the German track this weekend. “You might think that it’s an easy circuit, which isn’t at all the case,” explains Sven Müller (ma-con), ninth in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship ratings. “Finding your braking points isn’t really obvious. In addition, as it’s a very short circuit the field remains very compact and you pay a very high price for the tiniest error, above all in qualifying.” With 26 cars covered by one second in free practice the words of the German driver ring true!
“The most difficult thing here is the braking because it’s very bumpy,” says the championship leader Rafaelle Marciello from Italy. “As we have very little downforce on the car it’s very easy to flatspot your tyres. For sure it’s a city circuit, but in terms of driving it’s more like Monza because of the aerodynamic setup than Monaco, Macao or Pau! Here you don’t have to bother too much about the rail. The track’s very wide so it’s not a major worry.”
For Nick Cassidy (Eurointernational) it’s even more difficult as the New Zealander has to get to grips with driving a Formula 3 car and the Norisring - both for the first time! “I was only able to have a shakedown in the car at the beginning of the week, mainly to get my driving position right,” explains the double winner of the New Zealand Toyota Racing Series.
“The most difficult thing is learning the layout and finding a clear lap; the two don’t really go together. My first laps were unbelievable. I took in what I could and my times quickly improved. Although it looks very simple on paper, to go and find the last hundredths of a second you have to be in perfect osmosis with your car, which is far from being my case as I have to learn everything. You have to get used to really hitting the brakes hard and there’s only one line. If you go off line it’s very dirty and there’s no grip. I’m going to do the remainder of the season so it’ll be interesting to drive on a normal circuit after this fantastic experience here.”
More than 100 000 spectators are expected at the Norisring this weekend to attend this unique race meeting with its festive family ambience. The drivers in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship will seize this opportunity to make the people who matter sit up and take notice.